9 September 2011

How many translated books in the last 5 that you read?

Here are the results of the poll that I've been running for the last 10 days:

In the post that accompanied the poll I had worked out that about 15% of what I read is translated crime fiction. But as my current list showed, the books come from all over the world, with a tendency to favour Scandinavian.

The poll itself showed that translated crime fiction is quite popular amongst readers of this blog.
23 people responded, and between us, in the last 115 books we've read, 26 were translated. Some people said that, like me, they do read a fair bit of translated fiction, and were surprised that their wasn't one title amongst their last 5.

Several commentators said they didn't take much notice of whether a book is translated or not. What they wanted was a really good read. When you ask readers if they read translated fiction, they will often cite experiences with "poor translations" etc., but I'm not actually sure how you tell. It is possible that a translated book doesn't feel like what you normally read. Sometimes the translator doesn't quite get the nuances and local idioms right, but usually they do manage to convey a flavour from the culture that has produced them.

I must confess to having participated in a Nordic reading challenge both this year and last.
The effect of that is to focus on selecting books that fit the challenge requirements.
I'm not actually doing all that well with the Nordic Challenge 2011 this year with only 10 of my target of 20 books read so far.

The other challenge that sometimes involves me in reading translated books is the 2011 Global Reading Challenge. I have read 19 out of a target of 21 novels for this but this year they have mostly actually been written in English.

The other way of reading translated crime fiction is to do something like involve yourself in reading books that are eligible for the CWA International Dagger. I've done that in the past, but didn't this year.
However, if you are interested in doing something like that for 2012, Karen at EuroCrime is listing the eligible books. The list is enormous and you can find it here.

Some bloggers like Crime Scraps ReviewMaxine at Petrona, and Jose Ignacio at The Game's Afoot are posting regularly about their reading.


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for the summary. I hadn't thought about it, but you make a good point. Participation in challenges probably has a lot to do with the amount of crime fiction we read...

Kerrie said...

I think my point Margot is that challenges can play a big role in determining WHAT books you read. Memes like the Global Reading Challenge where participants are encouraged to list the books must play a role in book selection.

Kerrie said...

And of course social networking spaces like our Friend Feed Crime and mystery fiction room also influence the books we choose

kathy d. said...

Definitely the blogs influence my global reading. That's where I get the good book reviews, and then decide whether or not to pursue a particular book. (I look up reviews here, at RTR and Petrona, too.)

Of course, the library's limitations restrict my selections, as I'm not always willing to spend a lot for books.

I've informally done the Global Book Challenge this year at the Medium level, and I have two books to go. Even though this is informal, i.e., not signing up online, I have kept to the guidelines for the Medium level and am getting there.

Thinking about the Global Challenge has pushed me to read more international books, whether translated or not.

Translated books make up about 1/3 of my reading, a good percentage. So, good blog reviews definitely influence my choices.

And I found out about the Book Depository which made a difference, although since it was purchased by Amazon, it seems that the prices have gone up.

Susan said...

YOU also influence what we read, you know, Kerrie! lol Because you read so much crime, from all over the world, yours is an easy space to come to, to find out what's new and good in the world of mysteries.

I wasn't in the mood for many challenges this year, though the NOrdic Challenge is one to keep in mind for next year. I also try to read the CWA awards, the daggers for UK and international books, to find new authors and books to read.


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